Posts Tagged ‘Team Captain’

NHL: New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) Sidney Crosby said Wednesday he did not pay attention to those questioning whether he should continue playing hockey after suffering another concussion during the playoffs.

Crosby was too focused on capturing another Stanley Cup for his Pittsburgh Penguins to worry about outside opinions on his health.

”I don’t really read or listen to that stuff during the playoffs,” Crosby told reporters at his annual hockey camp in his hometown of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia.

Crosby has suffered multiple concussions during his career, including one during Game 3 of the second round against Washington in May. He missed one game before returning for Game 5, prompting questions about whether he should consider retirement.

The Penguins went on to win a second straight Cup, defeating the Nashville Predators in the final.

Crosby said he understands why concussions generate so much controversy.

”It’s a hot topic,” he said. ”That’s the nature of it right now.”

He said more information on how to deal with head injuries is becoming available all the time.

”You have to continue to listen to your body to make sure before you go back that you’re good to go,” he said. ”There’s things in place to help with that.”

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Jordan Eberle and John Tavares will have the opportunity to create magic together once again.

Eberle was dealt to the New York Islanders in a one-for-one deal that sent Ryan Strome back to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. For Eberle, he leaves the only team he’s ever played for. Though, getting the chance to play alongside the Islanders captain is something the 27-year-old is already thrilled about.

“John Tavares is a generational player,” Eberle said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play with him and hopefully bring success to the Islanders.”

Back in 2009, Eberle and Tavares suited up as linemates for Team Canada at the world juniors and connected for Eberle’s iconic goal against Russia in the dying seconds of the semifinals to send the game to overtime. The two would later score the lone shootout goals to send Canada to the gold-medal game.

Years later the two remain in contact and, as Eberle notes, even train together with other members of the Islanders in the offseason.

“The Islanders are a team where I know a lot of the guys,” Eberle said. “I’ve trained with Thomas Hickey, John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, and (Travis) Hamonic.”

After tallying his lowest goal total in a full 82-game season since his rookie campaign, maybe playing alongside Tavares is just what Eberle needs to get his numbers back up to the 30-goal range.

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Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson underwent surgery to repair torn tendons in his left foot on Wednesday and is expected to miss four months while he recovers, the team announced.

“Erik underwent surgery earlier today in Charlotte, N.C, to repair torn tendons in his left foot,” general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “The tears, which occurred during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, were found during an MRI as part of an extensive medical evaluation following the season.”

Following the Senators’ first-round series against the Boston Bruins, Karlsson admitted to playing with two hairline fractures in his heel, an injury he is believed to have played with for the duration of the postseason.

As for next campaign, the team is hopeful that Karlsson’s expected four-month recovery will allow him to be healthy for the start of the 2017-18 season.

Karlsson led all defenseman in scoring in the playoffs with 18 points in 19 games, while finishing sixth overall in the postseason scoring race.

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There’s a reason why Sidney Crosby has won everything there is to be won in hockey. It’s what he lives for.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain and superstar celebrated his second straight Stanley Cup victory – and third overall – Sunday night, along with his second straight Conn Smythe Trophy, and told reporters it’s winning, and the emotion that comes with it, that keeps him going.

“I think this feeling right now,” Crosby said when asked what motivates him. “You can’t match this. This is what it’s all about, and to be able to share that with a group of guys, and a lot of them guys that you’ve played a long time with and understand how difficult it is and what you’ve had to go through and that kind of thing, to share it with family and friends, you know, is just … that’s what it’s about.”

Crosby called these Penguins – the first club to repeat as champs in almost 20 years – a very special team.

“I’m really happy to be a part of this group, and a good chunk of the guys are returning from last year, so it’s pretty special,” he said. “You know, we set out to try to go back to back. We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think that’s probably where the most joy comes out of, is just knowing how difficult it is now to go back to back and knowing that we overcame all those things. It’s a pretty special group.”

Mission accomplished. And in the salary cap era, no less.

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We know hockey players are tough, but just how banged up are the Ottawa Senators after four weeks of playoff battle?

“I’ve got seven guys who would never play in the regular season right now, ever. They’d be on the sidelines. They are pressing us to play,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk told Prime Time Sports. “One of the boys, he had a cut into the right side just under his rib, and it was as gross as you could ever see – and he’s playing, every shift.”

Of course, the biggest injury involves captain Erik Karlsson, who was unusually honest about his ailment, announcing prior to Round 2 that he has been playing with two hairline fractures in his left foot.

But most impressive has been Karlsson’s knack to keep up his high level of play, despite the injury. The offensive blue-liner leads the Senators with 13 points in 12 games.

“When you talk about Karlsson, he’s just beyond the best. Many times, I’ve tried to compare him but there is no comparison on him,” Melnyk said. “Every time you think (Karlsson) is in the windshield, he turns out to be a fly somewhere else. He is so good. You’re seeing what you’re getting. Imagine him healthy.”

Karlsson has delivered for the Senators, notching two game-winners in the postseason, including the tally that sealed their second-round series against the New York Rangers.

“I went down to the dressing room after we won,” Melnyk continued. “You look at the guy and he could hardly walk, almost carried into the shower when he took his skates off … How he loses that or controls that pain, I have no idea.”

After knocking off the Boston Bruins and the Rangers, the Senators will face their most difficult task this spring in lining up against the defending champion Penguins. A series win would mark Ottawa’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2007.

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The New York Islanders are getting set to open the bank for captain John Tavares.

According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the club is likely to offer Johnny T an 8-year contract worth upward of $10 million per season.

Tavares is still under contract for one more season, but as Staple points out, New York general manager Garth Snow is eager to lock down his franchise player before potentially losing him for nothing in the 2018 free-agency window.

Next season Tavares is under contract for a bargain price of $5.5 million and, despite a down year this past season in which he posted 66 points – his lowest since the 2013-14 campaign – the 27-year-old is still an elite-level talent who would have teams salivating at the thought of acquiring his services.

Whether Tavares ends up staying in Brooklyn, or Long Island, long-term remains to be seen.

However, the four-time All-Star has previously made it clear that he fully intends on staying with New York, wanting a deal in place as soon as possible, according to Brian Compton of NHL.com.

Tavares has played all of his 587 NHL games with the Islanders.

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Sidney Crosby spoke to the media for the first time Friday following the cross-check from Matt Niskanen that resulted in a concussion.

“It’s hard to say,” Crosby told TSN’s Mark Masters. “I’m not going to sit here and guess, but it’s not one that happens often.”

By “guess,” Crosby is likely referring to the widespread debate as to whether Niskanen intentionally cross-checked Crosby in the face during Game 3, or whether it was an accident. Unsurprisingly, Crosby didn’t offer his opinion.

Alex Ovechkin‘s slash, which happened seconds before Niskanen’s cross-check, has also been a topic of discussion. Crosby was fairly forgiving of his rival.

“The slash, he’s trying to prevent a goal,” Crosby told Masters. “That’s a pretty common play for the most part.”

Crosby’s Penguins will have a chance to eliminate the Capitals in Game 5 on Saturday in Washington, though No. 87’s status remains up in the air after missing Wednesday’s Game 4.